This really resonates. I’m ending my second marriage — we’re actively separating and not yet divorced. It’s been going on three months since we made the decision to separate and still, only a handful of people know. Mostly family and a few close friends. I realized that subconsciously I am terrified of the news going public not because of the (inevitable) judgement, but because I am scared of being approached by men or potential partners. I never found my identity in my marriage, but you describe it perfectly: it’s like a safety blanket, a layer of protection that for some reason other men generally respect. I’m still wearing my ring. It gives me a sense of safety. I’m scared of taking it off.

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BA, MATC. Technical and business writer, adjunct instructor, usability nerd, extroverted-introvert, occasional poet, autodidact, Idaho native. @rachaelrenk.

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